Tonight’s game against the Atlanta Hawks was an all too familiar sight for Sixers’ fans. After a competitive first quarter, Atlanta took control and never took their foot off the pedal, defeating the Sixers 124-101.
Regardless of the Sixers being out of playoff contention, this game had meaning for the Hawks. Entering their match-up with Philadelphia, they trailed the Chicago Bulls for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference by just a 1/2 game.
Josh Smith stole the show from the very beginning. Whether or not he will be in Atlanta next season is irrelevant, the guy produces. Smith scored 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting and added 12 rebounds. The biggest criticism of his game has been his tendency to float to the perimeter rather than using his elite athleticism. Unfortunately for the Sixers, that wasn’t the case tonight. Smith attacked the teeth of the Sixers’ defense every chance he got.
Rookie John Jenkins added 21 points and 6 assists of his own for Atlanta. Jenkins did what he does best, he shot the ball, and he shot it well. He was 8-of-13 to be exact, and 3-4 from behind the arc.
Mike Scott showed everyone why Hawks’ Head Coach, Larry Drew, has so much faith in him. Scott scored 17 points and grabbed 8 boards in just 18 minutes of work.
Al Horford and Jeff Teague bounced back from their terrible performances in the team’s last meeting with the Sixers. Horford added 16 points and 9 rebounds, and Teague had 11 assists to go along with his 13 points.
Thaddeus Young was the lone bright spot in another horrible loss. Thad finished with 28 points and 8 rebounds. At halftime, Thad had 22 points on 11-of-15 points. The rest of the team combined for just 29 points on 8-of-34 shooting.
Jrue Holiday’s struggles continued. Luckily, he went 3-for-4 shooting the ball after starting 1-for-10. Jrue finished with just 12 points and 1 assist to go along with 5 turnovers and a technical foul.
Nick Young continued his success off the bench against the Hawks. However, once again, much of his playing time was in mop-up duty. Regardless, Young finished with 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including three 3-pointers.
Last but not least, Kyle Korver extended his streak to 71 consecutive games with at least one three-pointer made with his only make midway through the fourth quarter.
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Here are the player grades:
Evan Turner – 38 minutes, 9 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds : C-
Turner shot just 4-of-12 from the field, but stayed aggressive throughout. He took some of his usual contested 16-23 foot jumpers, but got some to fall. Best of all, Evan created for others and hit the boards on a night that his offense wasn’t there.
Thaddeus Young – 31 minutes, 28 points, 8 rebounds, 70% FG : A+
Thad was fantastic from the opening tip. After struggling the night before in Brooklyn, his energy level was through the roof. He never stopped moving, and the ball continued to find him. His shot was falling, but even when it wasn’t, he was hitting the offensive glass for his own second chance points.
Jrue Holiday – 27 minutes, 12 points, 1 assist, 5 turnovers : F
Jrue struggled from the very first minute, and started off 1-of-10 from the field. Holiday’s struggles continued all game long, and his play-making for others and defense both suffered. Jeff Teague had his way all night long. Jrue also had a stretch of three consecutive turnovers.
Nick Young – 26 minutes, 19 points, 67% FG, 60% 3PT : B+
After sitting seven straight, Nick Young has put together four consecutive solid performances. He scored 19 points tonight efficiently, and on a night that most Sixers looked uninterested, Young’s effort was there for all 26 of his minutes logged.
Dorell Wright – 26 minutes, 15 points, 2 steals, 40% 3PT : C
Dorell was one of the better Sixers tonight. He shot a solid 4-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-5 from deep. Defensively, Wright played the passing lanes well, coming up with two steals.
Spencer Hawes – 25 minutes, 5 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists : C-
Hawes struggled once again, going just 2-of-6 from the field for 5 points.
Damien Wilkins – 22 minutes, 6 points, 4 assists, 2 steals : F
Damien has played much better since entering the starting five, but not tonight. He went 0-for-7 from the field for his 6 points.
Arnett Moultrie – 22 minutes, 7 points, 7 rebounds, 60% FG : B
Arnett played just 4 minutes in the first half and failed to get anything going. In his 18 minutes of action in the second half, however, Moultrie was active all over the court. The highlight of the night for the Sixers was an alley-oop pass well above the rim from Evan Turner capped off with a one-handed throw down by Moultrie.
Lavoy Allen – 12 minutes, 3 rebounds, 1 assist : F
Lavoy went 0-for-3 in his 12 minutes of action. While 3 rebounds in that time is a good rate for anyone, he just seemed uninterested and spent most of his minutes going through the motions.
Justin Holiday & Royal Ivey – N/A
Justin Holiday and Royal Ivey played only 5 minutes and 3 minutes respectively. It would be unfair to give either guy a grade based on their limited action.
Kwame Brown – Did Not Play (Coach’s Decision)
Charles Jenkins – Did Not Play (Coach’s Decision)
Topics: Al Horford, Arnett Moultrie, Atlanta Hawks, Damien Wilkins, Dorell Wright, Evan Turner, Jeff Teague, John Jenkins, Josh Smith, Jrue Holiday, Justin Holiday, Kyle Korver, Larry Drew, Lavoy Allen, Mike Scott, Nick Young, Philadelphia 76ers, Royal Ivey, Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young